Are Processed Foods Without Trans Fats Healthy?

January 03, 2006
Volume 03    |   Issue 1

If you've been to the supermarket lately, you've probably noticed a lot of labels trumpeting "Zero Trans Fats".

Are the companies who produce these foods doing this out of the goodness of their hearts? Hardly!

They pretty much had to or face dropping sales. Everyone knows trans fats are bad for you. And as of January 1st of this year, all foods containing trans fats must say so on their labels.

Now, instead of putting trans fats on the label, where everyone can see just how bad the food is for you, companies are simply phasing out the fats in some of their foods. They're also using this transition as a marketing tool.

The frustrating part of this is that many of the food manufacturers have known for decades that trans fats were harmful. They knew years ago that trans fats increase inflammation, raise bad cholesterol, and may contribute to breast cancer. And they did nothing about it! They continued to sell unhealthy foods. And the only reason they're doing anything about it now is because it's to their benefit to do so. Not because it makes their food good for you!

Another problem with this situation is that many people will believe that processed foods with the "Zero Trans Fats" pasted on the front are now healthy foods. But that's not necessarily so. Many are full of sugar and refined carbohydrates, or simply have too much fat. This can cause a multitude of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

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These companies are making it easier for you to eat better quality foods. You can begin today. Avoid processed foods as much as possible. And definitely avoid any that contain trans fats.

Instead, look for products with tropical oils, such as coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil. They're much healthier. Although the food industry has given them a bad rap in the past, I think they'll change their tune now. After all, these oils are not just beneficial, they make foods taste good, as well.

Your voice of reason in Women's Health,


Doyle, E. "Trans fatty acids," Journ of Chem Educat, September 1997.

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